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DTV, HAC, CAC, VoIP, VRS certification and end of wireless analog service


Date:  October 24, 2007


1. FCC Consumer Advisory on Digital Transition

On October 16, 2007, the FCC released a consumer advisory explaining the manner in which consumers who receive free, over-the- air programming (i.e., not cable or satellite) can continue to have access to closed captions over digital television using set top converter boxes. URLs to the advisory are below.

FCC CONSUMER ADVISORY: CLOSED CAPTIONING AND DIGITAL-TO-ANALOG CONVERTER BOXES FOR VIEWING FREE OVER-THE-AIR PROGRAMMING ON ANALOG TELEVISIONS.  News Release  CGB
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-277165A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-277165A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-277165A1.txt>

2. Wireless Bureau Releases HAC Report.

The Wireless Bureau of the FCC has released a report on the extent to which digital wireless phones are now hearing aid compatible.  The report contains a number of recommendations to the full Commission, including (but not limited to):  (1) soliciting comment on modifications to the existing wireless HAC rules, as proposed in a Joint Consensus Plan submitted by consumers and industry; (2) soliciting comment on reporting requirements to be imposed on wireless companies; (3) soliciting comment on ways to improve consumer information and in-store testing of phones; (4) monitoring new technologies and volume control issues as needed to ensure access by people with hearing loss. 

SECTION 68.4(A) OF THE COMMISSION'S RULES GOVERNING HEARING AID-COMPATIBLE TELEPHONES.   The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, in consultation with the Office of Engineering and Technology  and other Bureaus and Offices of the Commission, reviews the status of implementation of the Commission's hearing aid compatibility requirements. (Dkt No.  01-309, 06-203).
Action by:  Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.
Adopted:  10/05/2007 by REPORT. (DA No.
07-4151).  WTB
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-4151A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-4151A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-4151A1.txt>

 3.  Consumer Advisory Committee

The next meeting of the CAC will be on November 2, 2007.  The notice and agenda for this meeting are noted below. 

Released:  10/10/2007.  ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEXT MEETING DATE AND AGENDA OF CONSUMER ADVISORY COMMITTEE. (DA No.  07-4132).  CGB. Contact:  Scott Marshall at (202) 418-2809, e-mail: scott.marshall@fcc.gov; TTY: (202) 418-0179
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-4132A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-4132A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-4132A1.txt>

4.  FCC Order on Requests for Waivers in the VoIP Accessibility Proceeding

On October 9, 2007, the FCC issued an order waiving for 6 months:

    (1)  the requirement that interconnected VoIP providers transmit 711 calls to an appropriate relay provider (i.e., the relay provider in the state that the call was made) and
    (2)  the obligation of traditional TRS providers to call an appropriate PSAP when receiving a 711 call to an emergency PSAP via an interconnected VoIP service. 

The Order came in response to waiver and stay petitions filed by the VON Coalition, USTelecom, and Hamilton Telephone -- and was in direct response to an opposition to those waivers by the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology.  The Order is noted below.

IP-ENABLED SERVICES.   Granted in part and denied in part several petitions for waiver relating to the Commission's recent VoIP TRS Order.
(Dkt No.  92-105, 96-198, 03-123). Action by:  Chief, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau.
Adopted:  10/09/2007 by ORDER.
(DA No. 07-4178).  CGB
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-4178A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-4178A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-4178A1.txt>

 5.  More Relay Providers Certified by FCC

 CSDVRS has received federal certification to provide video relay services and Hawk Relay has received federal certification to provide VRS and IP Relay.  The URLs for the orders granting these approvals are noted below.

Released:  09/21/2007.  NOTICE OF CERTIFICATION OF CSDVRS, LLC AS A PROVIDER OF VIDEO RELAY SERVICE (VRS) ELIGIBLE FOR COMPENSATION FROM THE INTERSTATE TELECOMMUNICATIONS RELAY SERVICE (TRS) FUND. (DA No. 07-3996). (Dkt No 03-123). 
CGB. Contact:  Gregory Hlibok at 800-311-4381 (voice),  202-418-0431 (TTY), email: gregory.hlibok@fcc.gov
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-3996A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-3996A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-3996A1.txt

Released:  09/21/2007.  NOTICE OF CERTIFICATION OF HAWK RELAY, LLC AS A PROVIDER OF INTERNET PROTOCOL RELAY (IP RELAY) AND VIDEO RELAY SERVICE (VRS) ELIGIBLE FOR COMPENSATION FROM THE INTERSTATE TELECOMMUNICATIONS RELAY SERVICE (TRS) FUND. (DA No.  07-3998). (Dkt No 03-123).  CGB.
Contact:  Gregory Hlibok at 800-311-4381 (voice), 202-418-0431 (TTY),
email: gregory.hlibok@fcc.gov
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-3998A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-3998A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-3998A1.txt

6. FCC Advisory on End of Analog Service

The FCC has released the following advisory, notifying consumers that all wireless analog service will soon be expiring:

If you receive cellular phone service and have an older, analog-only handset, beginning at midnight on February 18, 2008, your service may be affected.  As of this date, cellular phone companies are no longer required to provide analog cellular service.  If you have a handset with advanced features such as text or instant messaging, Internet browsing, or an integrated camera, then you do not have an analog handset.  Handsets with these features are digital handsets.  Customers with digital handsets will not be affected by this change.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires cellular phone companies to notify their customers at least four months before they plan to discontinue analog cellular service, and again at least one month before discontinuing analog service.  Customers who receive a discontinuance notice from their cellular phone company and still have questions, or who want to know whether their coverage may be affected when they "roam" into another provider's service area, can call their cellular phone companies.

To find out more about the analog cellular sunset, see our Consumer Advisory found at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/analogcellphone.html.   

 

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